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Freedom!

......to be racist bigots, science ignorant, and believers in supernatural magic!

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

The subject of 'freedom' has always included a loud but incoherent exchange of sound bytes and not much more. President Reagan, not the sharpest knife or even spoon in the drawer of reactionary product, always took great pleasure in pointing out that there was no word for 'freedom' in the Soviet Union, which primarily spoke Russian. This was to emphasize to the ignorant and unsophisticated who loved him how like Klingons the Soviets were, so different from actual human beings like we Christian Americans. Of course, the Russian word is svoboda, and it permeates Russian literature.

But the word 'freedom' is a tar baby in any language, and turns out the meaning is dependent on the preposition that immediately follows. FDR understood, and the Four Freedoms he gave as reasons to fight the month after Pearl Harbor reflect the issue. The US and western civilization fought, in his sincere mind, for the freedoms of speech and worship, but from want and fear. Prepositions of two to four letters carry a lot of baggage.

In 1980, a crabby Swedish artist named Lars Vilks constructed a tower of drift wood on his nation's southwest coast in a nature preserve. Then, a structure of stone. It took two years for anyone to notice it, and the government told him to take it down and clean up after himself which was followed by court cases and media interest. Government, of course, has to rule by stare decisis to protect the rights of people, which some consider tyranny, and even when they really do not, they pretend to in order to get their way, even if their way is nothing of substance because they have no actual goal or point. Freedom doesn't mandate goals or points beyond itself.

Long story short, the artist eventually claimed the area at issue a micronation called Ladonia, dedicated to freedom. There is taxation but no money, and to be a citizen, you have to contribute art or something creative. You don't even have to live there, and nobody does, yet Ladonia has just under 20k supposed citizens who have increased the arguable artistic pieces there. Tourism has ballooned, and potential profit has awakened conflicting emotions. Still, it's difficult to find and can only be reached in difficulty by foot. That didn't detour 10k Pakistanis from trying to emigrate to Ladonia recently based on the website or rumor or because whatever it was it still looked better than Pakistan to them. The absurdity of the whole thing has led to satirical websites indistinguishable from dead serious websites. One such site claims Ladonia's right to pursue its goal of free internet and actual piracy. Could be kidding, might not.

This ridiculous situation of zero import to anyone isn't much more ridiculous than the envisioned City on a Hill by the genetically engineered idiots in our own nation, Home of the Brave and Land of the Free. When you deconstruct what most people given to secessionism, white power militias, and general revolution want - and after unwrapping the thick dermal armor of catch phrases, cliche, and nonsense - is the mere substitution of their own prejudices and beliefs for those of other people. The majority are still under the heel of a power elite, but it's only the composition of the elite that changes. The majority of people will just have to bow to a T-shirt of another color. In most cases, one with the stars and bars.

What they want is not freedom for their children to become educated and better, but freedom from education, the preparatory process they fear. They don't want to be afraid themselves, but are down with using fear to keep others in inferior circumstances.

The GOP, composed almost entirely of aging Third Rate White Men who watch Fox News exclusively - where the audience averages 68 years in age - is today offering up the entirely interesting theory that fighting Gay Marriage equality is just like fighting Jim Crow laws, and it's fighting FOR religious freedom, don't you see, to want to overturn gay equality under secular law. Legislation is bubbling in GOP states in the South and west to legalize gay discrimination. Somehow, THEY are victims because we won't let them inflict their beliefs on us. They're just like black slaves. Or Jesus himself. Something.

The GOP wants just one freedom: a return to the immobile social strata of superiority of the third rate white male. Because: freedom, don't you see? Like they have in Ladonia.